Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Epidemiologist is calling for Prime Minister to mandate vaccinations

Healthcare workers, teachers and supermarket workers should all be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, says an epidemiologist.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Tim Roxborogh and Tim Beveridge, University of Auckland’s Rod Jackson said Jacinda Ardern should tell New Zealand tomorrow that “you cannot work in a hospital unless you’re fully vaccinated, you cannot work in any healthcare, you cannot work in any education setting unless you’re vaccinated, you cannot work in the police until you’re fully vaccinated, you cannot work in a supermarket unless you’re fully vaccinated”.

Jackson said this is being done overseas and was “nothing new”.

Jackson believed health care workers should be front of the queue for that and National’s Covid-19 spokesman Chris Bishop believes an announcement isn’t too far away.

Bishop believed the Government tomorrow would announce health workers needed to get the jab. He also thought the same would be announced for teachers.

He said there would be quite a good case for teachers to need to be vaccinated.

Bishop wanted as many Kiwis as possible to be vaccinated and once 85 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated, double-vaxxed Kiwis should be able to return home to New Zealand.

Where to get a vaccination in Auckland – without a booking

When he was asked if National would support vaccination to be mandatory for teachers, Bishop said the party would.

The Government is set to review Auckland’s, Northland’s and Waikato’s alert levels tomorrow.

On Sunday, 60 new community Covid-19 cases were announced. The three new Waikato cases are linked to the initial Hamilton East case while the Bay of Plenty case was announced by the Ministry of Health on Saturday night.

However, Jackson said there is “no chance” of Auckland loosening restrictions tomorrow.

“I’m freaking out in a major way,” Jackson said of the possible spread of Covid-19 into Northland.

“I’m freaking out because I think we’re going to have major problems there. Auckland we’ve got to suppress it until we are all vaccinated because we are well and truly in the poo if we don’t keep it down and keep it suppressed before we get high vaccination rates.”

Jackson said numbers were going to go up, but New Zealand really had to get its vaccination rates higher to avoid the hospital system from being overrun.

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